Monday, October 17, 2011

Our fishing industry is morally bankrupt

Now there's a surprise: the Seafood Industry Council, which represents operators of slave fishing-boats, thinks we need more of them, not less. Apparently, they can't get kiwis to work on their dangerous boats for weeks at a time for the pittance they're offering. Of course, there is a very simple solution to that problem: pay higher wages. It speaks volumes about the SIC and their members that they are unwilling to pursue that solution, and instead contract out their quota to foreign-crewed vessels not subject to New Zealand labour standards (or, apparently, basic human rights).

Meanwhile, its worth noting that these foreign-crewed vessels the SIC are so keen on are regularly breaching New Zealand fisheries law. They're not just screwing us on wages, but on the environment as well.

Its time Parliament put its foot down. If you want to fish in New Zealand waters, then it should be by New Zealanders, on New Zealand registered boats, and fully subject to New Zealand labour laws, safety standards and environmental regulations. Anything less, and we're allowing our country to be pillaged for the private profit of a few.